Archive for Ethics & Animal Cruelty

Food, Inc. The Movie

A good friend of mine who works in documentary film making in Los Angeles pointed me in the direction of a new film out about the truth behind the food industry. In it, the film looks into animal cruelty issues, including how animal wellfare is violated in search of producing faster growing, fatter animals. The film also tackles issues of local produce vs. import produce, branding, pricing, waste, over consumption, and capitalism in general. Below is the trailer in case anyone wants to have a sneak peak! Hopefully the film will come to Germany so I can see it in its entirety!

Food, Inc. The Movie Official Site

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All About EGGS – An Easter Article

While this may not be about vegetarian cooking, per say, I feel it is important to say something on the subject of Easter eggs. Many holidays in the U.S. and elsewhere are focused around food, many times around foods that are not entirely in keeping with the vegetarian or vegan diet (Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas ham, and, of course, Easter eggs). In this blog I’ll be posting some vegan and vegetarian options for Easter and other holidays. Feel free to share your creations with your family and friends!

The facts
Even if you’re a lacto-ovo vegetarian, consider giving up eggs on Easter in order to make a statement.
Every Easter, the sales of eggs in the US spike higher than the last. People purchase the eggs for decorating and eating.
The egg was chosen to represent Easter as a symbol of re-birth. It is ironic considering that the eggs you buy in the supermarket represent quite the opposite.
What many don’t realize is that the egg industry, which benefits from these holiday sales, is one of the cruelist animal-related industries in the United States.
U.S. grocery-bought eggs are the product of over 300 million laying hens, most of them (approx. 95%) kept in battery cages- confined spaces where three to ten hens at a time are grouped together with little room to move. The life of a battery cage hen is a sad one. It begins with having their beak sawed off with a hot blade, often suffering multiple illnesses due to poor living conditions while they are forced to lay eggs, and ends with them being starved, shackled and hung upside down until they are numb enough to have their throats cut. This kind of treatment is considered fair and humane in many US states, although many European countries have forbidden the use of battery cages.

If you choose to stop eating eggs, there are a number of vegan products and egg alternatives available to help you make the switch. Your feathered friends will thank you! See below for a list of egg alternatives.
If you do continue to buy eggs, please please buy free range, certified organic eggs. Although this label does not protect the hens from certain practices like forced molting, it does ensure that they are fed a vegetarian diet and allowed room to roam. Buying from a farmer’s market is often a good option as you can ask the farmer directly how the hens are kept.
For more information about the egg industry, visit http://www.eggindustry.com/

Photo by WasabiNoise, Flickr User: http://www.flickr.com/photos/djkubik/215310099/
Vegan and Cruelty Free Alternatives
1. Make Your Own CLAY Easter Eggs – Not only do these allow you to express your creativity while shaping them, but you can paint them when they’re dry! A bonus is they last longer than the shell kind and you can keep a collection of them year after year! PETA has a great recipe for the clay if you don’t want to buy it in the store. FIMO is a great, air-drying clay that comes in many colors!
2. Papier-Mâché Eggs – Fun to make and simple too! Also paintable! Check out the PETA page for a recipe and instructions.
3. Chocolate Eggs – Make your own following a recipe from PETA. Or you can buy some vegan chocolate eggs from A Lot of Chocolate
4. Plastic Eggs – Great for hiding treats in! Have an Easter egg hunt!
5. Wood Eggs – Available at your local craft store! Great for painting!

Egg alternatives for cooking
Ener-G –A great egg alternative.
Orgran No Egg – Available online & at many health food stores.
Dixie Diner’s Club Egg NOT! – An egg alternative that is recommended for cooking. Buy from the manufacturer or in your local vegan-friendly store.

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